Fishrot case postponed to August

By Rosalia David

THE case of former ministers Sacky Shanghala and Bernhard Esau and their four co-accused in the Fishrot corruption scandal has been postponed to August 28 2020.

According to magistrate Ingrid Unengu, the case has been postponed for further investigations while the accused remain in custody.
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Early May, it was reported that the state is under pressure to complete the investigation into the corruption, fraud and money laundering charges with defence lawyers representing the ex-ministers and their co-accused objecting a further postponement of the first of the two cases in which they are charged when they made their latest appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

During the court appearance, deputy prosecutor general Ed Marondedze who represented the state, argued that the investigation of the case is a complex and international exercise and has been hampered by the global border closures and travel bans due to the Covid-19 pandemic, prompting magistrate Unengu to have the case postponed to August 28 for further investigations to be carried out. The magistrate delivered her ruling on Wednesday this week saying that the case is remained postponed to August.

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Esau, Shanghala and former Investec Asset Management Namibia managing director James Hatuikulipi, a former senior Investec Namibia employee, Ricardo Gustavo, Esau’s son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi and Pius Mwatelulo, an associate of Shanghala and James Hatuikulipi, are charged with having been involved in a scheme in which Icelandic companies allegedly paid them at least N$103 million to get access to Namibian fishing quotas during the period from 2014 to 2019.

They are facing charges of corruption, fraud, money laundering and tax evasion in connection with the Fishrot case – dubbed after a term first used by the website WikiLeaks when it published a hoard of documents revealing alleged large-scale corruption in Namibia’s fishing industry in November last year.